The furniture is placed. The pictures are mostly hung. The cutlery is in a drawer and the plates stacked neatly in a cabinet. It was a wonderful reunion after a month long separation as I finished off my work commitments and my faithful partner, R., continued the move in without me - hundreds of kilometers away. I landed with butterflies in my stomach as I excitedly anticipated our reunion and stepping foot into my new home again. We did some quick shopping in the BIG city before heading south to the small community of Osoyoos. With our first guest arriving hours later, we were off at a rather fast pace with back to back visitors for six weeks.
Within three days, R. and I were tripping over each other in the kitchen. I found myself standing and waiting to reach the sink, tapping my fingers waiting to grab a knife, and counting down the long minutes looking for cutting boards, graters and my favorite frying pan. I shook my head as I noted all of my gluten free food was placed on the top shelf of our pantry and the rarely used oatmeal and other baking ingredients took up prime space lower down. After a conversation about convenience and my lack of height the gluten free products were moved lower but the dance continued.
True, I had rarely weighed in on the kitchen organization in our previous home. R. had long been the chief cook and bottle washer and filled his retirement moments with - well, cooking and bottle washing! I had worked and come home to delicious meals for several years with only rare inspirations to return to cooking. I had occasionally succumbed to a weekend here and there of re-designing the pantry or kitchen shelves with my trusty label-er ready to do my bidding. Within a day, silently, all had returned to the previous shelves and locations and we had continued on without a word - after all, I only visited the kitchen as a guest with weekend wash up chores.
One week in and I then emerged outside - planters and pots were moved and moved back as we each jostled for position - form vs function; beauty vs convenience. Heated discussions over flower beds and patio shape and size pushed us to our limits. I had never really involved myself in any outdoor yard maintenance beyond arranging the patio furniture or hanging up the flower-filled hangers or some outdoor drapery. Now I was dictating the position and size of a garden I would rarely touch and sizing up a patio I certainly would not be building.
What had happened? Where was the sharing I had dreamed about? What about the waltzing in the kitchen or the long walks at sunset? Can you spell "unrealistic expectations?"
I have apparently got - caught, snared, tangled - in the web of bubble bursting, over-the-top managing, and crazy controlling! because it was right, it was the best way, it was - it was a BIG pitfall of any new retiree. It was inevitable - I had even talked about it as inevitable - but I was not prepared with how deeply I felt about IT. I was flabbergasted with how sure I was that I would be the chief of something besides vacuuming and cleaning bathrooms. So.....
I exhaled. I breathed in deeply. Ten times. I promised myself to do the following:
1. Take baby steps to re-brand my life and the living of it.
2. Remember there are two in this equation.
3. What is, is - until it isn't.
4. Love trumps want.
5. To talk - SOON! and then dance in the kitchen again.